Commercial drivers aren’t just charged with getting their jobs done, they’re also expected as professional drivers to observe the rules of the road and lead by example on the highways, completing their routes with the utmost safety. Nonetheless, accidents happen, and any experienced driver has seen a truck that has jackknifed, collided, or crashed on the interstate. Because safety is fundamental to Unitruck, here are some common causes of truck accidents and how to avoid them when you’re behind the wheel.
The first way drivers can reduce accidents is by constructively reducing fatigue. It is simple driver fatigue that results in a great amount of truck accidents, as a full day of wakefulness can have the same effect on a driver’s concentration as the legal limit of blood alcohol content. Drivers must make sure to get the rest they need on their trips, for it does no good to rush if they cannot arrive safely.
The issue of drug use in truck crashes dovetails with that of driver fatigue. It’s no secret that truck drivers are under immense pressure to reach their destinations on time. Any visit to a gas station or truck stop will stock stimulant drinks, concentrates, and pills that claim to keep drivers awake and alert through the night with far more strength than a simple cup of coffee. But such drugs are not safe in conjunction with sleep deprivation, and while drivers may be awake, they may not necessarily be alert. Poor judgment under the influence of stimulants is a lead cause of truck accidents and staying off the road rather than trying to hastily cover up fatigue will reduce the likelihood of a crash.
The placement of cargo can influence driver safety. Cargo that has not been properly stowed and secured can shift in transit, which can affect the weight distribution of the truck and how it handles, often unbeknownst to the driver until it’s too late. Make sure everything is in its right place before embarking on your journey.
Unfortunately, even the safest and most diligent commercial drivers can be undone by the haste and recklessness of everyday passenger drivers who don’t give trucks the proper deference. The University of Michigan’s Transportation Institute found that it is normal drivers who are at fault in 70 percent of fatal truck crashes, making them far and away the most common cause of truck accidents. How to avoid them, unfortunately, is not easy, as such statistics indicate. Aftermarket additions like Freightliner Cascadia mirrors can expand what you see on the road and help you dodge drivers who you can tell may pose a problem. By driving as safely as you can and doing your best to steer clear of outwardly reckless drivers, you can hope to avoid such accidents, which often end far worse for the driver of the car than the driver of the truck.